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Number of casualties at the Battle of Stones River 1862-1863

Of all the major battles of the American Civil War, the Battle of Stones River had the highest percentage of casualties. Approximately 76 thousand men took part in the battle, with just under one third becoming casualties. The battle itself took place at the turn of 1862-1863, and began on the morning of December 31, when both the Union army of Major General William S. Rosecrans, and the Confederate army of General Braxton Bragg, planned to attack one another, with Bragg launching his attack first and catching the Union army by surprise (much like at the Battle of Shiloh). A strong defense, quickly mounted by Brigadier General Philip Sheridan, was able to prevent a total catastrophe, and the Union were then able to establish a defensive line which held out through repeated attacks from Bragg's men. Due to the threat of Confederate cavalry and high Union casualties on the first day, Rosecrans ensured that the convoys of wounded men were heavily guarded. When Bragg saw this he assumed that the Union army was retreating, and decided not to press the attack. On the final day the tide had turned in the Union's favor, and they were able to use their strategically placed artillery to repel the Confederate army, inflicting heavy casualties in the process. Although the overall result was inconclusive, it was a morale boost for the Union, who had suffered a string of defeats in the previous battles.

Number of casualties at the Battle of Stones River in the American Civil War in 1862 and 1863

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Release date

July 2019


United States

Survey time period

December 31, 1862 - January 2, 1863

Supplementary notes

Release date is date of extraction

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Statistics on "American Civil War 1861-1865"

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